The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) partnered with the University of Connecticut to release a groundbreaking report on the lives of more than 1,600 Black LGBTQ youth, a mostly untapped research population.
The report borrows from a more extensive survey investigating the life of LGBTQ youth in the United States. The results shed light on the experiences of individuals living with multiple marginalized identities.
The study found that 77 percent of Black LGBTQ youth have heard family members say negative things about the LGBTQ community, nearly 50 percent were taunted or mocked by a family member and under 20 percent said they could “definitely” be themselves at home. The report also shared some startling statistics about the mental and emotional health of Black LGBTQ youth. Of those surveyed, 80 percent stated they usually feel depressed or down, 71 percent usually feel helpless or worthless, and 80 percent usually feel worried, nervous or panicked.
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The survey comes in time for the HRC Foundation’s sixth annual Time to Thrive conference, which takes place on Friday and Saturday. The conference hosts hundreds of youth-serving professionals seeking best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families. The report will also be a panel topic during the conference.
“We must confront the very real and present discrimination and institutional obstacles that prevent too many Black and African American LGBTQ young people from fully thriving and living as who they are,” said Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Children, Youth & Families Program Ellen Kahn.
During the Time to Thrive conference on Friday, HRC President Chad Griffin shared the disheartening results of the report but noted that the potential for Black LGBTQ youth remains endless.
"But let’s be clear, these young people are also leading the way forward. And that should give us all hope. As this report makes clear, there are also stories of empowerment, resilience, activism, and advocacy," he remarked. "Across the country, Black and African American LGBTQ youth are taking a stand and advocating for inclusivity and equality in their homes, in their schools, and in their communities -- and increasingly demanding the same of their elected officials. You’ll hear from some of these amazing young advocates this weekend."
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